With dog backpacks becoming more and more popular within the dog owning community amongst people who love to go out hiking, we have noticed people asking a number of questions about using dog backpacks.
One question that we see time and time again no matter if it is someone who has a puppy or an older, senior dog is are dog backpacks cruel or not?
Due to the number of people reaching out to ask if dog backpacks are cruel or not steadily increasing with each month that goes by, we wanted to publish our own dedicated article on the topic to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
Our hope is that we will be able to clear up some of the controversies about dog backpacks that is common on social media and help you find the perfect dog backpack for you that your dog will love!
What Is A Dog Backpack?
There are two totally different types of dog backpack but we will only be covering one of them in this article.
The first is a backpack that is worn by the owner of the dog on their back and the dog can then be placed in the backpack if it is tired.
This is the type of dog backpack that we will be focusing in for this article on if dog backpacks are cruel or not.
The second type of dog backpack is a smaller backpack that is actually worn by the dog to allow it to carry equipment and these are also becoming increasingly popular too.
Just to quickly touch on this second type of dog backpack, provided the backpack is not overloaded and too heavy and you have a medium or large dog, they should be fine and are generally not considered to be cruel.
Are Dog Backpacks A Good Idea?
There are a number of reasons why dog backpacks have become so popular in recent years.
The most common reason that you will see people using dog backpacks is to be able to take their dogs on longer hikes with them without the dog getting too tired and having to turn back early.
This can be very helpful if you have a puppy, a small dog breed or an older senior dog that may have injuries.
Another popular reason for using dog backpacks is when going camping with your dog.
A lot of people see their dogs as part of the family and so they like to take them away camping with them and a dog backpack can be very helpful for this so that your dog can carry its own supplies.
The final common reason that we see people using dog backpacks is for owners of dogs who have a disability, such as being blind or deaf.
A dog backpack can be very helpful in these cases in some situations as the owner can put all of the supplies that the dog will need for the day in the backpack and not have to worry about carrying them around but you don’t generally carry the dog in this type of backpack so we will not be touching on it any further.
Are Dog Backpacks Cruel?
This is the big question that we wanted to answer in this article and the short answer is no, in our opinion, dog backpacks are not cruel.
However, there are a number of factors that you need to take into account before using one with your own dog to make sure that they are comfortable and safe.
The first thing is that the dog backpack is large enough for your dog and that it can comfortably fit into the backpack when needed without issue.
The second thing to check is that the dog backpack that you are looking to use is able to support the weight of your dog as some of the cheaper ones are large enough for a large dog breed but are not able to support their weight.
The third thing is that the material of the dog backpack will not be able to cause the dog to quickly overheat when out hiking on a hot day.
There are some other minor things to factor in such as if your dog is able to get out of the backpack quickly, if there is space to add a blanket for your dog when out on a cold day and such.
Provided the dog backpack is large enough for your dog, tough enough to support the weight of your dog, and made from a breathable material that will not overheat then a dog backpack is generally not considered cruel!
The Different Types Of Dog Backpacks On The Market!
There are a number of different types and styles of dog backpack available on the market and the best one for you will depend on your own personal preferences as well as the needs of your dog.
The first thing that you need to think about is what material you would prefer the backpack to be made out of.
The most common materials are nylon and canvas but there are also now more eco-friendly options such as bamboo.
The second thing to think about is how you would like the backpack to fasten.
The most common way is with a zipper but there are also now some that have velcro fastenings or even buttons.
The third and final thing to think about is what size backpack you will need.
This will obviously be dependent on the size of your dog but you also need to make sure that there is enough room in the backpack for everything that you need to take with you such as food, water and any other supplies.
How Do You Train A Dog To Use A Backpack?
This is another question that we get asked a lot and the answer is that it is actually very easy to train a dog to use a backpack.
Most dogs will happily get into a dog backpack is they are tired, especially older dogs and puppies that have been out hiking for most of the day so this just helps to back up the case that dog backpacks are not cruel if your dog will happily get into it.
Some dogs may need a little encouragement at first as they may not like to be confined in the dog backpack so plenty of praise and positive reinforcement should be enough keep your dog happy.
Can You Put a Puppy In A Dog Backpack?
This is a question that we get asked a lot and the answer is yes, you can put a puppy in a dog backpack but there are a few things that you need to take into account first.
The first thing is that you will need to make sure that the backpack is big enough for your puppy as they will grow quickly and so you don’t want to have to buy a new backpack every few months.
The second thing is that you need to make sure that the backpack is comfortable for your puppy as they are still growing and so their bones and joints are not as strong as an adult dog.
The third and final thing is that you will need to make sure that the backpack is made out of a breathable material so that your puppy doesn’t overheat when in the backpack.
Can You Put a Senior Dog In A Dog Backpack?
This is another question that gets asked a lot and the answer is yes, you can put a senior dog in a backpack but there are a few things that you need to take into account.
The main issue with putting a senior dog into a backpack is that many older dogs have problems with their hips and some designs of dog backpacks may put pressure on the hips of your dog.
If you do have a senior dog, especially one that has problems with hip or joint pain then we would recommend the style where your dog sits in the backpack rather than lays across it.
This should keep the experience pain-free for your dog while you are out hiking and carrying your pet dog in the dog backpack.
Do Dogs Like Being In A Dog Backpacks?
The answer to this question is that it depends on the dog!
Some dogs absolutely love being in a backpack as they get to experience all of the sights and smells while being carried around by their owner.
Other dogs may not be so keen and may need a little bit of encouragement at first but once they realize that they are not going to be left behind they should be fine.
The main thing is to make sure that your dog is comfortable in the backpack and that it is not too tight or constricting.
What Are The Benefits Of Putting A Dog In A Backpack?
There are many benefits of putting a dog in a backpack but the main ones are that you can hike for longer distances, you can take your dog with you into places where they may not be allowed and it also means that you have your hands free.
Another benefit is that it can also help to socialize your dog as they will be meeting new people and other dogs while out on hikes.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Putting A Dog In A Backpack?
The main disadvantage of putting a dog in a backpack is that it can be quite tiring for your dog, especially if they are not used to it.
It is also important to make sure that your dog is comfortable in the backpack and that it is not too tight or constricting.
Another thing to consider is that you will need to carry all of your dog’s supplies with you such as food, water, bowls and toys.
This can add quite a bit of weight to the backpack so it is important to consider this before setting off on your hike.